My second year of life was between the Septembers of 1983 and 1984. President Ronald Reagan was campaigning to win his second term in office. Michael Jackson was dominating the Grammys. The Cosby Show was making its debut. I love that I was alive during this time in American history and pop culture. I don't have any memories of this year of my life but these were the things that were buzzing around me; the things that made news and everyday conversation for my parents and siblings. I must have been learning how to walk and talk and my hair was still kind of blonde. My brain was growing and I was absorbing the world around me like a sponge.
I've heard and read from child development experts that the first couple years of life are critical for a person's emotional development. The other day I took a self-assessment for work and some of the results read like this: "[Ashley] is receptive and listens well... she can be sensitive to the feelings of others and is able to display real empathy for those who are experiencing difficulties... she usually is considerate, compassionate and accepting of others." These are the kinds of things that make me look back on my first couple years of life and consider how well I must have been loved and cared for to even have the capacity for such emotional qualities. It's funny: when you are so young you are nothing but selfish and needy, yet it is the consideration and compassion of those who nurture you that eventually becomes you... if you are one of the lucky ones. And I am, by the grace of God.